Cambridgeshire MP urges councils to help Wisbech rail bid

Bramley Line between March and Coldham. Bramley Line between March and Coldham.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014
9:55 AM

Councils have been asked to spend their reserves on a project which would re-open Wisbech railway station and boost businesses across West Norfolk.

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Councils have been asked to spend their reserves on a project which would re-open Wisbech railway station and boost businesses across West Norfolk.

The station was closed in 1968, as a result of the beeching cuts which led to the closure of many stations.

Potential re-opening of the station in 2015 could lead to better transport links, which would give businesses more incentive to open up in Wisbech.

Steve Barclay, MP for North East Cambridgeshire called for Cambridgeshire County Council and Fenland District Council to complete a feasibility study so the project can benefit when bidding opens for EU cash next spring.

Speaking on his blog Mr 
Barclay said: “Everyone I speak to locally tells me how important it is for the area’s economic growth to have a rail link for Wisbech and 
the A47 upgraded to dual-carriageway.

“The sooner we can make progress the better as this EU funding could be the golden ticket we have been waiting for.

“We really need this work to be done as soon as possible so preparation can start on a scheme ready for when the bidding process for this European funding begins next spring.

“The Greater Cambridge and Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) is likely to receive around £72m of this European money, which is designed to improve economic growth and social well-being across member states.

“I want to see this area receive its fair share of that money.”

The government in June announced funding for the LEP’s Wisbech Access Strategy, but the £250,000 funding for a detailed engineering study will not be available until April 2015.

This would be too late if a bid for money from the European Structural and Investment Funds to be allocated to LEP’s for 2014-2020 proved succesful.

Mr Barclay added: “The government’s funding announcement was the breakthrough we have been waiting for. But now we need either Cambridgeshire County Council or Fenland District Council to agree to spend the money from their reserves on the understanding the funding will be forthcoming in April.”

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